500 Words – Day 014 – What Disease? -1048 words-

From this day forward, I will proclaim that there is no such thing as disease. That is not to say that there aren’t disorders of function(disfunction) within the human experience. Surely there is and we have all experienced disorders to one degree or another.

In other words, I am going to do my best to remove the term disease from my linguistic arsenal because I believe it to be problematic. Problematic in that it allows for a continued building up of ideas and language that takes us further away from the truth of what disease really is. An advanced state of aging. A problem that is a result of our body lacking the vital energies needed to repair or replace the components that we are wearing out. To say it another way, we are using up our body’s resources faster than they can be replenished.

And so in some sense, the word disease becomes an expensive paywall that prevents us from understanding what is really going on. And this disease is simply the first paywall or locked door that keeps us from really understanding what is really going on. Once you are convinced that you have a disease and you have gone through that door, it is further separated out into many other doorways and dim passages by which the initial problem becomes even more confused, obscured, blurred, and specialized into other, even scarier sounding disorders and diseases that become even more difficult to understand. This then ultimately leads us down the road to needing a doctor to guide us as blind people through the perilous straights of murky medical terminology. By the time the common man gets to this point they simply don’t know what to do. And in many cases, their primary care doctors know little more.

From this point, specialists who hold the keys of knowledge hidden behind the doors of specialties and specific diagnoses aren’t really able to help us better understand what is going on simply because they lack the time or skills needed to easily teach us in plain language what is really going on within our body. And thus we simply trust them in their decision-making processes that landed us in their care in the first place. And once most people get to this point there is little they can do other than simply say okay, submitting ourselves to a course of treatment that isn’t necessarily going to get us back to a state of homeostasis. To a place of normalcy where our body can once again be in its default state of organic and biological flow where everything is working with ease.

And this then leads us back to life…

There is only life and life exists regardless of our consciousness of it. We get to participate in it for a period of time. A span. A spectrum of existence that begins with what we humans call birth, and that existence has a temporal ending that we call death. Metaphorically speaking, we are simply an act if you will. A scene in a movie or play that makes up the whole of our individual lives. Our act or scene is a story that has many stages in between its temporal beginning and end. One story; yet two natures. One that is physical and the other that is spiritual. One is the story of our physical body and the other is that which we call our consciousness. Yet, both are a part of the same individual story that makes up each individual human life. And it is all an animated existence powered by electrical energy.

Our physical body is an organic, carbon-based life form that has been drawn up, gathered together, animated, and electrified as a utilitarian, beneficial, and necessary part of life here on Earth. We are here for a reason. In some sense acting as a counterbalance to another factor that exists within the realm of life on Earth.

So where does disease fit into all of this talk of man’s nature? What if I told you that disease is simply a metaphor for aging that has been used as a marketing tool in some sense? Well, that’s exactly what it is. The marketing of an idea that at the very least implies that there is something going on in our body that is out of our control that needs some form of external input, whether by ourselves or the hands of another.

So let’s just remove the word disease from our common use of language and just call it what it is then. Simply aging.

Beginning somewhere between conception and birth, Aging has been defined as a steady decline or reduction of physiological function that leads to increased susceptibility to diseases that will ultimately end in biological death.

Beginning –> Aging/Disease –> Death/End

When compared to other mammals, humans have what appears on the surface to be a longer lifespan. Approximately 120 years according to what humans have defined as a solar year consisting of 365 1/4 days.

Sidenote: I would like to argue that all mammals within their individual context from their own perspective experience the same amount of perceptible time known as a lifespan regardless of how humans define time. The idea that a day to a human would be something like a week to a dog, as an example. This might explain why a dog is so happy to see its human that has been gone on a two-week vacation. To us humans, it has only been two weeks, but to that dog, perhaps, it has been something akin to us having been gone for almost 2 months time.

Standard evolutionary models of aging are explained as the full potential of our body’s ability to repair or replace cells that would allow for continued existence. The idea is that over time, what we call natural selection through a process called senescence, or the deterioration of age begins to exert less effort in the removal of our spent cells. Our body simply loses its will to take out the trash if you will.

This brings me back to what we have classically called disease. And this is the basis by which I would like to suggest that we stop using this negative, pejorative term for what is simply the process of aging.